In November we began an advanced Bible study series for our region with good success.
The first study was held on Nov. 8 in my office, for brethren who want to deepen their relationship with God and be more useful in his kingdom.
The studies will be held the second Saturday of each month, from 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Though we still don’t have a name yet for this new effort, the beginning showed excellent results. Fourteen people participated, more than the 11 who registered. Four congregations were representended: SJCampos, Taubaté, São Sebastião and Vila Maria (in the capital). Nine of the participants were men, five were women.
After a short meditation about the preparation of the man (and woman) of God, based upon 2 Tim. 2:14-15 and 3:16, I taught the first course on “Literary Figures and Forms of the Bible (I),” dealing with merism, inclusio and chiasmus.
With few exceptions, the majority showed interest in the Certificate of Participation, including the program of readings outside the classroom.
To receive the certificate, the student must attend 12 courses, though not necessarily consecutive.
The readings program consists of reading, per course, 100 pages, chosen by the student from the bibliography of each course, until the next study.
This program is an effort to provide a structured and continuous course of study, without being a formal school.
Currently, there are no other schools or programs of advanced study in the state. The National Bible School moved its headquarters to Belo Horizonte and has no active nucleus in Sao Paulo state. (I taught in the Sao Paulo nucleus.) The Nucleus for Advanced Studies, under Sydney Leite’s guidance in Sao Paulo, has ceased functioning, with his move to the U.S.
Ours is the first organized program of advanced Bible studies to be based in our region. (We’re not part of the Sao Paulo metropolitan area; we’re in the Paraiba Valley region of the state’s Eastern Cone.) From the lack of other options, however, it looks as if we’ll be pulling in students from other areas.